Old Royal Naval College

ORNC Canaletto View
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Welcome to the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC), Sir Christopher Wren’s twin-domed riverside masterpiece and one of London’s most famous landmarks. The ORNC is open daily and is a breathtaking place to visit – whether you have an hour or a day.

The iconic buildings stand on the site of Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence and include the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel. You can find out more about the ORNC’s intriguing past by joining one of our daily guided tours.

The buildings and grounds of the ORNC were originally designed as a refuge for old and injured sailors in the 1690s. Later the site became a training college for officers in the Royal Navy. Today the beautiful interiors and grounds are free to visit and host an exciting range of events all year round.

Explore over 500 years of history at the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, browse for design led gifts in the Shop at the ORNC or enjoy a beer at The Old Brewery. See the Painted Hall where Admiral Lord Nelson lay in state after his death in the Battle of Trafalgar, experience the grand neo-classical Chapel or attend public events at the ORNC.

Venue Type:

Ship or maritime heritage site, Historic house or home, Heritage site

Opening hours

The Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel are open to visitors daily between 10am and 5pm. The grounds are open daily from 8.00 to 18.00.

Daily guided tours run at 12.00 & 14.00 lasting approximately 60 minutes and cost £5 per person (free for children under 16).

Private group tours lasting 90 minutes are available at £7.50 per person. Please call for availability.

In the Chapel, a service of worship is held every Sunday at 11.00, to which all are welcome.

The ORNC is closed to the public on 24, 25 & 26 December. The Chapel and/or Painted Hall may occasionally be closed at short notice, please see the website for updates.

Admission charges

Admission to the Old Royal Naval College: Free
(includes the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, Painted Hall, Chapel and grounds)

Getting there

By DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (Zone 2/3)
By tube: Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf and change for DLR as above.
By Rail: Greenwich Zone 2 from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Dartford.
By River: Greenwich Pier (Zone 2)
By Bus: 129, 177, 180, 188, 199, 286 386

Additional info

Please contact us on 020 8269 4799 if you require wheelchair access and we can send you information regarding the step-free route around the site. Access for wheelchairs into the Chapel is provided by a Stairmate machine.

Collection details

Archaeology, Architecture, Maritime, Religion

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

WRNS Untold Stories: The Women’s Royal Naval Service at Greenwich

  • 7 July — 3 December 2017 *on now

To mark the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) in 2017, the Old Royal Naval College is holding a special exhibition exploring the lives and experiences of the women who served and trained at Greenwich.

In 1918 the first pioneering group of women joined the Royal Naval College as cooks, motor drivers and telephonists, releasing men for sea service. Entering a predominantly male environment, they won the respect of their colleagues despite initial scepticism. During the Second World War and beyond, Greenwich became an important centre for training officers and ran specialised courses for Wren ratings. As the roles open to women expanded, many of the Wrens who trained at Greenwich went on to play a vital part in the war and beyond. Combining photography, film and oral histories, this exhibition explores the changing role of women in the Navy through the lens of the time they spent at Greenwich.

Researched and curated by a team of volunteers from the University of the Third Age, the exhibition draws on new interviews with former Wrens who trained here. If you have a memory or experience to share, why not visit the exhibition and leave your reminiscence on our ‘Memory Board’.

Held in the Visitor Centre, the exhibition is free to visit.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • Any age

Admission

FREE

Website

http://ornc.org/wrns

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
A conservator at work

Architecture and Conservation in Conversation

  • 28 September 2017 6-8pm

Join leading conservation experts for an evening of insightful talks held at the beautiful Art Worker's Guild.

John Barnes, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces joins the Old Royal Naval College’s Director of Conservation, Will Palin to chair a conversation with conservation experts Sophie Stewart and Tobit Curteis, architect Hugh Broughton and Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, Desmond Shawe-Taylor.

The panel will bring to bear their insights and experience on the Painted Hall Project and discuss the challenges specialists face when art history, architecture and conservation intersect.

We are delighted to be the guests of the Art Worker’s Guild for this event. The intimate historical interiors of the Queen Square buildings provide the perfect setting for a discussion devoted to the preservation of our rich cultural inheritance.

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A and a drinks reception.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Where

The Art Worker's Guild
6 Queen Square
Bloomsbury
London
WC1N 3AT

Admission

£20.00

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/architecture-and-conservation-in-conversation

The Old Royal Naval College

British Sign Language Interpreted Guided Walk of the Old Royal Naval College

  • 30 September 2017 2:30-3:30pm

Join us for a free tour of Sir Christopher Wren's riverside masterpiece and be inspired by the stories of the people who have lived and worked here.

The centrepiece of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, the classical buildings of the Old Royal Naval College were designed by England’s greatest architects and are considered amongst the finest in Europe. Once home to a grand Tudor palace, the present buildings began life as the Royal Hospital for Seamen, a place of refuge for retired naval veterans and a powerful statement of Britain's aspiring naval might.

Witness to some of the most important events in British history, from the birth of Henry VIII to the lying in state of Admiral Lord Nelson, there is much to discover on this journey through the magnificent history of the Old Royal Naval College.

This tour is delivered in spoken English by an expert guide with British Sign Language interpretation by Russell Aldersson.

Tickets are free but advance booking is required as places are limited.

Please check the Old Royal Naval College website for further information:
https://www.ornc.org/Event/british-sign-language-interpreted-guided-walk-of-the-old-royal-naval-college

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich
SE10 9LW

Admission

Free, booking is required

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/british-sign-language-interpreted-guided-walk-of-the-old-royal-naval-college

A Painted Hall Ceiling Tour in action

Audio-Described Painted Hall Ceiling Tour

  • 4 November 2017 11:30am-12:30pm

Ascend 60 feet and uncover the secrets of Britain’s largest painted ceiling.

Painted between 1707 and 1726, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College hides many surprises. Currently undergoing a major conservation project, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the drama of this vast baroque masterpiece up close.

Take an hour long ceiling tour via a special observation deck and discover the painting’s mysteries as they are revealed for the first time in half a century.

This audio-description tour is suitable for blind and partially-sighted visitors. The tour is delivered by an expert Tour Guide and includes a series of tactile objects.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall,
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich
SE10 9NN

Admission

Cost: £5, plus one accompanying person for free.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/audio-described-painted-hall-ceiling-tour-4-november-2017

Greenwich Winter Time Festival poster

Greenwich Winter Time Festival

  • 1 — 31 December 2017

In association with the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Winter Time presents its own distinctive and individual style, offering an alternative winter event to the seasonal market. A truly unique and contemporary experience, while still fulfilling the traditions of the season, set against the unrivalled backdrop of the Old Royal Naval College.

The event will host a bespoke covered ice rink, London’s finest independent Winter Lifestyle Market, an authentic Father Christmas experience for all the family, magical and enchanting entertainment for all ages, artisan food and much more.

Please check the Old Royal Naval College website for further information:
https://www.ornc.org/Event/greenwich-winter-time-festival

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich, London
SE10 9LW

Admission

Tickets start at £15 for adults and £10 for children

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/greenwich-winter-time-festival

A Painted Hall Ceiling Tour in action

Audio-Described Painted Hall Ceiling Tour

  • 20 January 2018 11:30am-12:30pm

Ascend 60 feet and uncover the secrets of Britain’s largest painted ceiling.

Painted between 1707 and 1726, the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College hides many surprises. Currently undergoing a major conservation project, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the drama of this vast baroque masterpiece up close.

Take an hour long ceiling tour via a special observation deck and discover the painting’s mysteries as they are revealed for the first time in half a century.

This audio-description tour is suitable for blind and partially-sighted visitors. The tour is delivered by an expert Tour Guide and includes a series of tactile objects.

Please check the Old Royal Naval College website for further information:
https://www.ornc.org/Event/audio-described-painted-hall-ceiling-tour-20-jan-2018

Suitable for

  • Any age

Where

The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall,
Old Royal Naval College,
Greenwich
SE10 9NN

Admission

£5, plus one accompanying person for free.

Website

https://www.ornc.org/Event/audio-described-painted-hall-ceiling-tour-20-jan-2018

Getting there

By DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (Zone 2/3)
By tube: Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf and change for DLR as above.
By Rail: Greenwich Zone 2 from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Dartford.
By River: Greenwich Pier (Zone 2)
By Bus: 129, 177, 180, 188, 199, 286 386

Old Royal Naval College
King William Walk
Greenwich
Greater London
SE10 9NN
England

Website

Old Royal Naval College

www.ornc.org

The Painted Hall

www.ornc.org/visit/attractions/painted-hall

The Chapel

www.ornc.org/visit/attractions/chapel

Events

www.ornc.org/events

Visit us

www.ornc.org/visit

E-mail

Group visits

boxoffice@ornc.org

Learning

learning@ornc.org

Venue hire

venuehire@ornc.org

Documentary and commercial filming

info@ornc.org

News and media filming

press@ornc.org

Telephone

Box office

020 8269 4799

Fax

020 8269 4757

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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